Expert Advice: What are some positives about the 'terrible two's'?
Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from pediatrician, Dr. Jenica O'Malley from Upstate Medical University. What are some positives about the so-called terrible twos?
Jenica O'Malley, DO: There's lots of them. So, I think a lot of what gets labeled as the terrible twos is really a lot of that cognitive and problem solving development that you see. So they're starting to figure out the ways that they can sort of manipulate the world around them. And I don't mean, like, manipulate the way I behave, but just the way that they know their action causes a reaction., And they're really starting to come to terms with that. At the same time, you start to see that their language is emerging, but it's not fully there. So there's a lot of big feelings they're starting to develop. So they're starting to show this wide range of frustration and anger and sadness and silliness and loveliness and all of these different things, but they don't always have the language to kind of say, "I feel really angry right now," or "I feel really sad." So it comes out the only ways that they know how, which is outbursts or tantrums that we call those things. And those things are not necessarily problem behaviors. They're just the ways that children are kind of trying to figure out how to cope with what's going on around them. And you see just, that is such an age of social development. So, learning how to play together. So up until really around 2 years of age, you see kids playing together, but they don't do a lot of interacting together. They do a lot of playing side by side. They do a lot of taking this toy from someone because they want to use it. They don't do so much of that back and forth of I'm pretending to be grandma, and you're the child. After the age of 2 and going into 3 and 4, they have this huge bloom in their imaginative skills. And that's a developmental milestone really, is starting to have that really strong, imaginative play, where they can just carry on a whole scenario without, really, any toys and go back and forth with other kids. I think that's one of the most wonderful things about that "terrible" time of their toddlerhood.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to pediatrician Jenica O'Malley from Upstate Medical University.